The Old Broadway Synagogue, an Orthodox congregation at 15 Old Broadway in Harlem, has held Sabbath and holiday services in the same location since 1923.
Under the leadership of the late Rabbi Jacob Kret, who served as Old Broadway's spiritual leader from 1950 to 1997, the synagogue attracted Holocaust survivors who settled in the area and, later, students from Columbia, Barnard and the Jewish Theological Seminary. Most recently, Old Broadway has been attended by some of the small number of Jews who still live in Harlem and Morningside Heights.
Jews can satisfy the obligations of daily prayer by praying anywhere; however, there are certain prayers that can only be said in the presence of a minyan (a quorum of ten adult men), and tradition teaches that there is more merit to praying with a group than there is in praying alone. On Sunday morning, there are not many congregants at Old Broadway so that often the service is interrupted while attending call friends and relatives asking to join them in order to reach the quorum. With less than ten, in fact, it seems that the prayers don't ascend as high.
This series was shot in 2012.